The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) in partnership with Premier Waste Services, and the Young Africans For Opportunities (YAFO) has embarked on a community plastic buyback project at Buokrom, a suburb of Kumasi.
The project is one of GRIPE’s initiatives, designed to reach low-income communities based on the understanding that people could exchange plastics for cash by separating and selling their post-consumer plastic waste.
During the project, volunteers visited households and local shops to create awareness on proper disposal and segregation of waste and encouraged people to take their plastics to a buyback centre to be weighed for monies and other rewards.
In total, about 100 residents, and 30 volunteers participated in the exercise, which lasted five hours and the project team recovered about 2,035kg of plastics (pure water sachet-LDPE, HDPE and PET bottles).
The plastics would be washed and crashed into flasks by Premier Waste Services for recycling into other useful everyday products such as hair combs, chairs, water bottles, tables, school bags, etc, according to a statement from the organizers.
Ms. Louisa Kabobah, the Project Manager oat n GRIPE, speaking on the sideline of the event, said GRIPE’s mission was to implement recycling and second-life solutions that reduced the impacts of post-consumer plastics on the environment.
“GRIPE implemented its initiatives through education and advocacy, data and research, and multi-stakeholder collaborations,” she said, adding that the plastic buyback initiative is aimed at raising awareness on waste management, and the economic and social gains of plastics.
This is to enable them to see waste, not as waste, but as a treasure that when handled properly, can serve as a major source of livelihoods for women, and the youth in Buokrom. Ms. Kabobah urged community members not to relent in their efforts towards taking actions to keep their neighbourhood clean, and safe from communicable diseases.
Ms. Kabobah added that the plastic buyback project was a good initiative that contributed to retrieving several metric tonnes of plastic waste from the environment for recycling, which would have clogged the gutters and contributed to flooding.
She lauded the people of Buokrom for coming out in their numbers to actively participate in the project and challenged them to keep collecting more post-consumer plastics to earn more rewards.
On his part, Mr. Edmund Arthur Brown, the Founder, and CEO of Premier Waste Services said the company is focused on changing the narrative about plastic waste in Ghana. “Through that, we do organize community plastic buyback programs to educate communities on the economic and environmental impacts of plastic waste.
“We believe that when we come closer to the plastic waste generators themselves, we get to know their problems and how best we can help in solving it. Premier waste and its partners, YAFO – KNUST, and GRIPE also use this opportunity to appreciate waste pickers in the community to motivate them to keep up their good work in helping to recover more plastic waste.
“We attribute the success of this event to our partners and the selfless volunteers and the people of Buokrom who made this possible.”
One of the waste pickers who joined the event, Madam Maame Serwaa said: “I have been collecting plastics for the past 20 years now. The money I make from collecting and selling plastics to companies like Premier Waste is what I add to the money I make from my small business to buy foodstuff for the family, and school items for my children. I am pleading with the government, and other private companies to continue to support waste pickers so that we can collect more plastics, and help make Buokrom and Ashanti Region cleaner”.
The Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE) is an industry-led coalition formed under the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) with a stake in the plastics sector to integrate sustainable long-term waste management solutions, particularly around plastics.
GRIPE was launched in 2017 by Fan Milk PLC, Guinness Ghana Limited, Unilever Ghana Limited, Nestle Ghana Limited, PZ Cussons, Dow Chemical Limited, Voltic Ghana Limited, and Coca Cola Equatorial Africa.
Others such as Accra Brewery Limited, Pernod Ricard, Mohinani Group, KGM Industries Limited, Finepack Industries Limited, and Universal Plastic Products & Recycling have since joined the coalition.
Premier Waste Services is a waste recovery start-up company based in the Ashanti Region that provides low-cost plastic waste recovery, collections and recycling infrastructure with an effective waste pickers network in managing plastic waste in Ghana.
Source: Richard Mensah Adonu | Join our Telegram Group